Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Learning about weather

We have been working to understand air pressure in our science lessons and attempted a few experiments
the first one we tried was using cold water and coloring it blue

using card stock we were able to turn it over and with some careful effort 

Let go and see the pressure of the card holding up the water.  We watched this done on a Bill Nye video on pressure and recreated in our home

Next we tried another experiment from Bill Nye that didn't work out so great for us.  we took a  jar of hot water and color it red and then take a second jar of cold water and color it blue

the point of the experiment was to show that hot air (water in this case) remains on top and the cold air (water) remains at the bottom which is how weather fronts are formed and how storm systems emerge.

We had a very hard time getting the jars to line up and the card stock would not slid out in one go which caused a problem with equalizing the pressure

and this experiment was a complete fail, while it worked on the video it did not work for us:(  We know this because the water instantly mixed together turning purple when it should have stayed red on top and blue on the bottom.
But then I found another experiment that had the same principal but went about it slightly differently and it worked out so much better:)  I found this one on the kitchen chemist site
we colored two glasses of hot water red and filled two glasses with cold water.  Notice the water is completely to the top of the glass

Next we took two discs that were old and not being used 

and stacked them together covering the small hole 

and placed it on top of the hot water glass

very slowly we slide the CDs together and watched

while a small amount of red seeped thru the majority remained on top

Hence seeing that the hot air (water in this case) is less dense than the cold water...this remained so until the two waters became the same tempture and then they mixed

Next we took the cold water and using the same method and placed it on top of the hot water and slid the CDs together and watch instantly as the hot water seeped into the cold water until both glasses where completely red.
Next we tried two more experiments from the Kitchen chemist which showed hot air rising.
Take your toaster and use two cereal boxes to wrap around it

cut out a slight hole so you can reach the levers in the  toaster and  set it at about medium temperature.  The highest setting melted the plastic

Next carefully placed a plastic bag over the cereal boxes and gently hold and turn on the toaster and watch as the bag fills with hot air

Then let go and watch the bag rise up just like a hot air balloon:)
 I think the kids got the point of hot air rises but since we love experiments we tried one more that the kitchen chemist recommended:)

take a tea bag that has a string and undo the string carefully

unfold the teabag and empty out the tea

Place the empty cylinder tea bag upright onto a plate and light it on fire

watch carefully as it burns because as soon as it reaches the bottom

It lifts off the plate, luckily it turns to ashes before it hits the ceiling:)  

 We had fun finding experiments that demonstrated that hot air rises and is less dense than cold air this is important as we discuss weather fronts and how weather is formed

Monday, 28 April 2014

PE at Sky Zone

This year physical education has definitely taken a back seat in our homeschool.  When we lived in England we participated in horse back riding, swimming and martial arts weekly.  I haven't been as lucky finding classes that are the right fit for my children and their needs.  We were trying to go to the local YMCA but that is proving to be tough to fit into our schedule.  My son has been wanting to try out the trampolines at Sky Zone for ages and when a field trip was planned we went.  It was our first time there and the kids loved it and were thoroughly exhausted after only an hour!

Kids checking their heights and finding out their was no area off limits to them, yay!!

Getting a lay of the facility and finding out the rules which of course are pretty basic, no running, rough play etc...

Then jumping to your heart's content:)

Trying basketball on a trampoline

playing dodgeball

Resting after an exhausting game of dodge ball:)

They look happy and ran off so much steam.

Best part for us the facility had massage chairs and my lovely husband kept feeding it dollar bills for me:)  I so want one of those chairs in my house:)

Friday, 25 April 2014

Learning about the French and Indian War and Field trip

We are studying the French and Indian War with the kids and reading several books and watching a few shows to help us learn about this period of history.
Some of the books we have been reading
As a family we watched the PBS documentary on the French and Indian war which was an excellent overview of the time and the war.  I highly recommend it.  My husband's favorite all time movie is Last of the Mohicans so of course we watched that and than as we were reading found all the things that were inaccurate about the movie;).

We decided to take a trip to visit one of the local French Forts in our area and try to get a better hands on feel for the time.  We lucked out and found an re enactment group was there and got to see clothes, food and items of the time period as well:)  SO there are lots of photos as usual:)

The enactment group that was here this day said they were portraying Eastern long hunters which we were told were different from Mountain Men which came after.  I still need to look that up

We were told these metal plates were the last remnants of amour worn up until the Revolutionary War.

The fort has been rebuilt due to the changing of the river

Open court yard and two of the buildings with completed construction

Lots of stands were the kids could see some of the items we have been reading and talking about.  It was interesting to see what has or had not changed since the Viking age

replica of a canoe.  We were told that due to wood shortages that canvass was used to stretch over the wood slates.

We keep seeing tents with what looked to be chimneys in them

Finally found a tent that let us take a look of the portable Brazier stove.

Campfire stove top

I was amazed at how much stuff people brought along with them while moving

no wonder when colonist or pioneers traveled westward they started dumping their possessions along the way.   Although if you are going to camp in a tent this is how I want to do it:)

Examining the gun called the Brown bess which this gentleman told us made America.  We also go to see what a turn screw was and what it does.  While small screws were used for tools and guns they were not mass produced to use in furniture and house building until much later.

Someone working in the garden

Examining the different flags at the time

and learning what they mean...we will be learning more about  different flags soon

Next we went into the two completed stone building and saw how the men might has lived at the fort.

officer quarters

soldiers with some rank would live more comfortable in this type of settings

storage rooms

The fort pub

Looking at a map to see the position of the river and how it has changed over the years and how it affected the fort and why it needed to be moved and rebuilt

Kids exploring the fort walls

The fort ammunition was interesting to see how different the construction of this building compared to the others and we talked to the kids to explained how they constructed this building to contain an explosive as much as possible if it was hit be cannon fire.

Inside was barrels which at one time were probably filled with gun powder 

Super thick walls and double doors 

IN many ways this fort reminded us of many walls that surrounded churches or castles that we have seen while living in England.
We had a wonderful day out exploring history and while talking to the reenactors we were told of two books that help explain the period better which I am looking into.  The books recommended were The Gauntlet runner (which is about the French and Indian War) and Bloodying at Great Meadow (which gives a better understanding of the making of George Washington).  Currently my children are reading the book The Signs of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Spear which gives the children a better understanding of the interactions of Indians with colonist.